In 2000, Mom and I hiked Mt Crested Butte for The Breast Cancer Fund’s Peak Climb. There were lots of sponsors there: Athena Water, Wolfskin packs, Cliff actually introduced their Luna bars at the event, and Leki who provided pairs of walking poles to whoever wanted to demo them. The climb started at the base – 9,375 feet ( 2,856 meters) and ended at the summit- 12,162 feet (3,707 meters) and we really appreciated the support and assistance that the poles provided. They almost made up for the fact that there was no air, but not quite, LOL.

The Leki rep said the use of poles for walking developed in Finland from dry-land exercises done by skiers during the off season. It is easy to walk faster because you are pushing off with each step which means you also achieve some upper body exercise in the process. Mom and I demoed them, loved them and bought some when we got back into town.

I used mine a lot until we got the dogs and walks became more complicated. Now, Freya is gone and Rob is older and more leash-savvy so I am back to walking with poles. I like the full-body workout concept and I especially like the idea that I am burning as many calories as I can burn running.

I googled Leki and found that an entire sport has developed around them called Nordic Walking. Some marathons, and even the legendary American Birkebeiner, a Nordic Skiing event, have events for Nordicwalkers. I’m not much of a joiner but I think preparing for an event would be a good way to challenge myself. Who wants to walk a marathon? Join me!


  • Click here for Leki USA’s website. They make poles for skiing, trekking and Nordic walking. They also have articles and videos on Nordic walking technique.
  • Click here for Nordic Walking USA’s website. They have articles on events and technique.
  • Click here for the Crested Butte website. This is a great destination resort for hiking or skiing.
  • Leki poles and extra tips are sold at REI stores and on my Amazon-affiliate webstore. The link to my webstore is on the right of the blog. I am currently using the fitness walking tips on my old trekking poles. Next, I’ll buy the poles pictured in my store to the right because they are lighter and have a newer hand-strap system.
  • Fitness Magazine has a Nordic Walking Guide. They are calling it a new fitness craze. LOL
  • This article discusses the Cooper Institute’s findings about NW’s increased calorie burn over simply walking.